Thunderstorm asthma alerts issued for southern NSW and Canberra as rainy weather sweeps in

Thunderstorm asthma alerts have been issued for the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales’s nearby Murrumbidgee region this weekend.The Bureau of Meteorology said a low-pressure trough and strong cold front would continue to cross NSW on Sunday, reaching the north-east of the state by evening and leaving significantly cooler conditions in its wake.A new high-pressure system was forecast to strengthen south of Tasmania early this week, with the potential to maintain showery conditions across eastern areas for a number of days.Health authorities warned that severe thunderstorms, combined with existing elevated pollen levels, could create a situation conducive to a thunderstorm asthma event.“Not all thunderstorms produce an asthma event, and thunderstorm asthma is a rare event,” ACT Health said in a statement.“However, people who suffer from hay fever or asthma are encouraged to be vigilant over the weekend for any worsening of their condition. Where possible avoid being outside during a thunderstorm – especially in the wind gusts that come before the storm. Go inside and close your doors and windows. If you have your air conditioning on, turn it on to recirculate.”The NSW public health unit director, Tracey Oakman, issued a thunderstorm asthma alert for the Murrumbidgee local health district area for the entire weekend.“If you know you have asthma, carry your asthma puffer with you at all times and try to stay indoors with the windows and doors closed during the storm period,” the NSW Health statement said.“Be aware that thunderstorm asthma can also affect people who have not had asthma before.”Ten deaths were attributed to a thunderstorm asthma event in Melbourne in November 2016 and 14,000 people were taken to hospital with breathing difficulties.A sheep graziers’ warning was also in force for the NSW south coast, southern tablelands, Snowy Mountains and parts of the Illawarra, south-west slopes, Riverina and Australian Capital Territory. And in Victoria, the north-central, south-west and central districts and parts of the west and South Gippsland and East Gippsland areas were subject to the same warning. The BoM said cold temperatures, showers and strong winds could cause losses of sheep and lambs on Sunday.A gale warning was in force for the Hunter and Sydney coastal areas on Sunday and a minor flood warning was in place for the Murray River around Jingellic. In Victoria there were also flood warnings for the Bunyip and Kiewa rivers and Dandenong Creek.

Continue Reading Thunderstorm asthma alerts issued for southern NSW and Canberra as rainy weather sweeps in

Victorians issued with deadly health warning about ‘thunderstorm asthma’ – four years after horror conditions killed TEN people on one day in Australia

thunderstorm asthma Victorians might be spending less time outside due to COVID-19 restrictions but health authorities are still urging residents to be wary of deadly thunderstorm asthma.Ten people died during or soon after a thunderstorm asthma event in Melbourne on November 21, 2016. Victoria’s deputy chief health officer Allen Cheng warned about the freak storm, which prompted an inquest, in a message to the public on Thursday. A combination of high pollen levels and strong winds can trigger the phenomenon. November is usually the peak period for the asthma event, but Dr Cheng said it could take place any time from October to December. The Bureau of Meteorology confirmed a ‘La Nina’ over the Pacific Ocean on Tuesday, meaning Australia is likely to have a rainy spring and summer. There is the possibility of flooding and more severe tropical cyclones than usual. ‘This is likely to mean that it is somewhat of a high risk of thunderstorms, although the pollen forecast at this stage is only that it is probably going to be moderate,‘ Dr Cheng told reporters. Current, former or undiagnosed asthmatics and hay fever sufferers should stay indoors when high-risk epidemic thunderstorm asthma events happen, or they should have good control of their condition. The pollen count has officially started in Vic, and this season it is especially important to manage your #hayfever and asthma, particularly in #thunderstormasthma season and during #COVID19. @TheRMH and @unimelb's Prof Jo Douglass provides some advice on how to get prepared. — The Royal Melbourne Hospital (@TheRMH) October 1, 2020 ‘If you are in any one of those groups, you should see your GP and make sure that you have an action plan in case something happens,‘ Dr Cheng said. ‘There have been a lot of changes to recommendations about medications over the last year. ‘Even if you have seen your GP, but haven’t seen them for a little while, it may be worth going back to make sure the medication you are on is appropriate.‘ Dr Cheng said concerned Victorians could check pollen count meters on the VicEmergency app and University of Melbourne website. He assured the community that systems were ready to issue high pollen warnings and monitor hospital admissions for signs of epidemic thunderstorm asthma. [embedded content] What is ‘Thunderstorm Asthma’? ‘Thunderstorm asthma’ is caused when a large storms sweeps pollen and irritants into the atmosphere. The irritants cause asthma sufferers to have an attack.   Rain and humidity can also stir irritants that affect asthma.  More thunderstorm asthma news on Allergy Society Australia, DM, Strange Sounds and Steve Quayle. Follow us: Facebook and Twitter. By the way you can also support us on Paypal. Please and thank you!

Continue Reading Victorians issued with deadly health warning about ‘thunderstorm asthma’ – four years after horror conditions killed TEN people on one day in Australia